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Spook Country

(Blue Ant #2)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  17,719 ratings  ·  1,406 reviews
Tito is in his early twenties. Born in Cuba, he speaks fluent Russian, lives in one room in a NoLita warehouse, and does delicate jobs involving information transfer.

Hollis Henry is an investigative journalist, on assignment from a magazine called Node. Node doesn't exist yet, which is fine; she's used to that. But it seems to be actively blocking the kind of buzz that ma
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published August 7th 2007 by Putnam Adult (first published August 2nd 2007)
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Deborah Ideiosepius Interesting question: I have not finished the book yet, I am only on page 295, as yet I have to say that Russia is definitely not being dissed or even…moreInteresting question: I have not finished the book yet, I am only on page 295, as yet I have to say that Russia is definitely not being dissed or even discussed. Also the Author is in fact Canadian not American.(less)

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3.68  · 
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 ·  17,719 ratings  ·  1,406 reviews

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Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
William Gibson’s Blue Ant series theme seems to be the post Cold War / post 9.11 world where governments, government agencies, intelligence groups and powerful global entities have made paradigm shifts in their focus and world view.

Blue Ant is a global marketing agency led by Belgian Hubertus Bigend and operated out of London. Bigend sees modern advertising as “reverse espionage” and finds that his special projects involving post-cyberpunk underground investigations akin to an organisms need for
Sep 12, 2007 added it
I finished reading William Gibson's newest novel, Spook Country, a few days ago and have been trying to figure out how I feel about it. It is one of the few books I have eagerly scooped up in hardcover, I loved his Pattern Recognition so much. The promise of another book set in what can only be called the "extreme contemporary" moment was too much for me to pass up or wait for paperback to experience.

Unfortunately, Spook Country does not rise to the level of its predecessor. The main problem, in
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Quite possibly my favourite Gibson. Quite possibly a modern classic. Quite possibly the best book you'll read this year. The Blue Ant sequence is excellent and elegantly concludes in Zero History, but this is the one I come back to. Masterful prose, gripping narrative, weird and fascinating characters.
Aug 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
It's a little thin. Compulsively readable, nicely plotted, and delightful in its references to places and technologies of the 2006 moment. (In this, I read it under the right conditions: the day it was released, on an LA-NY flight. It opens on the block in which I used to live. I drove past Gray's Papaya in midtown just as his characters had breakfast there.)

But the thing is, the characters just get thinner and thinner. It's intentional, I guess. He's trying to create new archetypes. But it make
Enrique Ramirez
Aug 28, 2007 rated it did not like it
I was disappointed by this book. William Gibson, touted as a writer with ideas, handles the conceptual with a surprising lack of deftness. In one sense, this book is about name-checking pop culture ephemera and devices. More attention is given to the description of the insoles of Adidas GSG-9 boots and cesium bullets than actual story development. The "chapters" are anything but, and give the novel the feel of a technologically-mediated novela on Univision.

But, more on the object-oriented aspec
This has to be the least thrilling thriller I've ever read. I never felt like there were any serious stakes for any of our three protagonists -- unless it was during the incessant tooth brushing scenes. Indeed, all the major characters in Spook Country have impeccable oral hygiene, but I digress.

Hollis Henry, former lead singer of The Curfew turned journalist for Node, finds herself embroiled in a mystery --care of Hubertus Bigend and Blue Ant -- that jumps from L.A. to Vancouver. She's on the
Jun 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
Although this was generally an interesting read, for me it had some fundamental problems. 1) For the first 50 pages I found myself daydreaming and constantly having to reread bits 2) The contemporary technology in this book is going to soon date itself. I don't know if Gibson considers this scifi, but the issues at hand (and the technology) already feel a little dated. Though as a result, I suppose it may appeal to a wider audience than other scifi or technical mysteries. 3) It was truly anticli ...more
Nov 01, 2007 rated it it was ok
I've been reading William Gibson for a few years now, well after "The Movement" came and went and the world adopted and forgot the term "cyberspace." I wish I had been around to feel the freshness of that way of visualizing data, but it's a sad fact that I'm young enough to simply take that for granted. Possibly, kids who grew up around Cape Canaveral have the same take on Heinlein.

At any rate, "Spook Country" isn't a novel of the near-future, but the here-and-now, and, honestly, it's everything
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Russian-speaking Cubans, journalists who were in the band
I struggled to find a reason to give this 3 stars and... I couldn't. Because the first book in the series, Pattern Recognition, was okay, and I gave it 3 stars, and this book just... did nothing for me. Usually 2 stars means I actively disliked or was annoyed by a book (as opposed to 1 star, which means I hate it with the passion of a thousand burning suns), but Spook Country just bored me.

Part of the problem was that it's a multi-POV book with short chapters switching between a very different c
Aug 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sci-fi fans and conspiracy theorists
No matter when or where it is set, all the best science fiction is really about the present day. William Gibson takes this idea to its logical conclusion and writes about the present day as if it were science fiction.

Gibson seems mostly concerned with how our (real) technologies are transforming us. His main character, Hollis Henry (love the strong female characters that are always present in Gibson's work), the lead singer of a defunct band from the '90s, who is now trying to make it as a journ
Jun 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
William Gibson is one of the few writers that I make it a point to be in the store on release day of a new novel. I first inhaled 'Spook Country' over a two day period. I was initially disappointed, for reasons I cannot quite put my finger on. The best I could come up with was that it wasn't quite 'Gibsony' enough for me.

However, having just reread it in a more methodical manner, I have to reverse my initial opinion and declare my love for this book.

The usual, interesting cast of characters is
Mark Bukovec
Sep 26, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Gibson fans
I don't know that I have much to say about this. I enjoyed it on a sentence level almost exclusively. I didn't think it was an interesting story, and it came off as a watered-down version of Pattern Recognition.

There's no way to know this, but I have this weird suspicion Gibson struggled writing this book. There's no strong idea behind it. The chapters (all very short) have a self-enclosed feel. Oddly, they all have chapter titles, which you don't see much these days. I'd get to the end of one a
Ben Babcock
Can a thriller also anaesthetize? Spook Country tries to find out. It has all the trappings of a modern espionage story, with quasi—government agents and a mysterious shipping container being tracked by a paranoid GPS geohacker. Yet William Gibson seems strangely reticent to let the story or the characters off their leash and venture boundlessly into this world. Instead, he escorts the reader on a meandering tour of a possible present (or near-future) which ponders how recent technological innov ...more
Feb 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
Gibson weaves another dark mystery from the narrow viewpoints of exotic, solitary characters, as they move through a complex "day after tomorrow" alternate present. We follow an ex-Cuban "spy family", shuttling secrets from buyer to seller on iPods, and an ex-rocker now journalist covering a software engineer working with "locative artists". These artists build 3D visual simulations that appear overlaid in a particular place when viewed through Gibson's beloved VR helmet. All of this leads to a ...more
Dec 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction, 2010
After the spectacular Pattern Recognition, Gibson returns to his normal fuzzy ways and once again seems to write the same book he'd already written a half-dozen times prior to this. Three narratives once again unspool alongside each other until they converge in the end, where they finally arrive at a McGuffin (this time, a mysterious shipping crate). The purpose of the McGuffin is vague, of course, although it did seem a little more relevant to the themes of the book than the glasses in Virtual ...more
May 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I don't want to knock Gibson. I really don't. Back in the day I really enjoyed Neuromancer and The Difference Engine, as well as other works and some of his short stories, but here with Spook Country, I found myself just not caring about the characters or the plot or even Gibson's sleek descriptions of various designer voodoo. I felt like I gave this book a fair shake by plodding through a hundred and some odd pages before giving up... I don't know, it just didn't feel "authentic" to me...

Pamela ✨I Blame Wizards✨
Let me first state that I have always been a fan of William Gibson. I found Neuromancer wholly original, and Pattern Recognition an absolute joy to read. With this in mind Spook Country left me entirely underwhelmed.

Perhaps this feeling I have comes a lot from the way I approach this book. By this I mean my cultural milieu. I approached it from the point of view of a ‘young Australian’. It felt like there were so many things in this book I could simply not relate to. My youth made the language s
Kaethe Douglas
Gibson has this very cool writing style that's just a little off, such that you can't quite identify how. Although the story is presumably set in the present of its publishing (2007) a date isn't stated. Something is up. One thread follows a journalist hired by a soon-to-be (maybe?) new magazine called Node. One thread follows a young man in New York who works for his family. The final thread follows an addict named Milgrim who's been kidnapped by government man, although a specific department i ...more
Feb 04, 2011 rated it liked it
I fell for Pattern Recognition like a shmo dating out of his league. It was so much cooler than I was, and my doorway into that cooler world. I had to run to keep up with the first 50 pages, but I loved being out of breath.

Did I mature? Or was Spook Country just less hot? I suppose I should develop some cogency about that question, but I'm too stunned for that yet. The book is good. Whatever kind of semi-science-fiction this is (I can't imagine the publishing world hasn't already devised some Ca
Maria Beltrami
Classico esempio di libro ben scritto ma scarsino dal punto di vista ispirazione. Una storia del dopobomba, e per dopobomba qui si intende il post 11 settembre, com personaggi sopra le righe e Guerreros, vale a dire gli Orixà Cubani.
La trama è debole e i colpi di scena non sono altro che espedienti narrativi per tenere in piadi la storia.
Gibson ci ha abituato meglio.
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, scifi
Impressive and very atmospheric. Good scifi - a bit political, but still fits into this world very well.
Aug 16, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Pattern Recognition fans, no one else
Every author should only write one great book. all others should be burned. and i will be the arbiter of what single work is that authors most outstanding work. Otherwise, authors who introduce a new genera should be made to never write in that style again, as their contributions to society via the introduction of a genera far outweigh their ability to pile prose together in anything other then episodic poppycock.

at some point in the recent past, gibson decided that the life of the slightly ecce
Aug 21, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Wealhtheow by: Dana DesJardins
Set in the same world as Pattern Recognition. Hollis Henry, former singer for a 90s band with a cult following, is now a freelance journalist. While investigating an underground art scene, she stumbles across a conspiracy that stretches across the globe. Young man Tito and junkie/linguist Milgrim are involved as well. The chapters are about three pages long each, and pretty much nothing happens. Everyone talks in short, choppy non-sequitars that they then explain at unrealistic length. At the en ...more
Aug 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: cyberpunk fans, hipsters, spy fiction fans
The story consists of the interwoven plot arcs of 3 different Characters: Hollis Henry a retired indie rocker turned journalist, Tito a mysterious boy in a family of Cuban organized criminals specializing in smuggling and forgery, and Milgrim a Russian translator addicted to designer anti anxiety drugs who is being held captive by a government agent. This book is set in the same contemporary world as Pattern Recognition and shares some of the characters.

I really liked this book a lot. Neuromanc
It's been several years since I've read Pattern Recognition, so I can't really speak on if this is the 'perfect follow-up' to said book. However, the writing style between PR and Spook Country was close enough that my thoughts did contemplate how similar the two books felt.

I enjoyed this selection, the three plots just pulled me along and I looked forward to all of the main characters, which often is not the case in a multi-plot book. Each one had their own nuance that I didn't mind bouncing be
Fred Ramsey
Aug 10, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Someone who hadn't read William Gibson before.
Well, I finished it. It was good, but overall I have to say that Mr. Gibson has fallen into a rut. I have but one suggestion for him: go out on a limb. Try going forward again. Take all your strengths and apply it to something a little more bold, perhaps attempt to truly look forward 20 to 50 years, or go way out and write a good space opera.

But enough with the John Grisham. Please.

* * *

Still in progress. William Gibson is my Rowling. I will drop whatever I am doing to read a new book by him.

Aug 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
People need to give William Gibson a break. He "invented" cyberspace, computer implants, the Sprawl, the Bridge, and almost single-handedly created the cyberpunk genre. He spent the 80's and 90's (in my opinion)doing great service to literature.

Now he's doing something different. Something less-high concept and yet more alarming, because it seems to be really happened now rather than proposed in the comforting mid-future.

Let someone else invent the next street-samari. We don't need him to rein
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ending to this perfectly-crafted story pulls together all the seemingly incompatible and distinct characters and plot threads in a way that scratched an itch I didn't know I had, and provided an answer to a mystery I had long ago forgotten I'd worried about, pulled straight from the headlines of newspapers I'd read and discarded.

So good, William Gibson. A confident and knowledgeable author. So, so, good.
Jan 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2007-misses
Every time I go back to L.A. to visit my parents I gorge myself on SF novels, which my mother buys in abundance. I was excited to see the new William Gibson waiting for me in my old room. As usual with Mr. Gibson, the writing is clean and crisp, the prognosticating eerie, and the plotting complex. However, this book is BORING. And that's that.
Dec 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Like Pattern Recognition, beautifully executed style over substance mystery/thriller novel, but with slightly disappointing payoff. Masterful display of literary techniques, gripping in its variety of topics and execution.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

William Ford Gibson is an American-Canadian writer who has been called the father of the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction, having coined the term cyberspace in 1982 and popularized it in his first novel, Neuromancer(1984), which has sold more than 6.5 million copies wor

Other books in the series

Blue Ant (3 books)
  • Pattern Recognition (Blue Ant, #1)
  • Zero History (Blue Ant, #3)
“Secrets...are the very root of cool.” 62 likes
“A nation,” he heard himself say, “consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual’s morals are situational, that individual is without morals. If a nation’s laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn’t a nation.” 27 likes
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